by Tom Utescher
Last Wednesday the Chestnut Hill College women closed out their 2012 lacrosse season at home under the lights at Victory Field, pulling away from conference rival Wilmington (Del.) University in the second half to win 17-11.
It was an uplifting ending for a team that was hampered by injuries throughout the first half of the season. After an 0-4 start, the Griffins struggled to get back on track. With their successful swansong last week, the CHC sticksters wrapped up the 2012 campaign with a record of 3-13 overall and 3-9 within the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
Chestnut Hill’s third win came against a club that had been above the .500 mark; the Wildcats went home on Wednesday with a mark of 6-6 in the CACC, and were 9-7 overall.
Before Wednesday’s match the Griffins gave official recognition to the contributions of their two seniors, attacker Kelly McKay and defender Megan Nadler.
When the whistle blew McKay got right down to it and scored the icebreaker, but the Wildcats answered with a pair of goals and then kept a step ahead of the home team with leads of 4-3 and 5-4. Chestnut Hill forged ahead and looked to go into halftime with a bit of a cushion at 8-5, but Wilmington split the pipes twice in the final 92 seconds of the opening period, making it 8-7.
McKay and the visitors’ Rebecca Guethler each rang up four goals in the first half, but after that Guethler was shut down by the Griffins, while McKay kept adding to her total to finish with six goals and three assists.
After Wilmington’s Molly Taylor tied the match at 8-8 two minutes into the second stanza, CHC outscored the Wildcats 9-3 the rest of the way. The visitors were still within two goals when Rebekah McCurry made it 12-10 with just under 10 minutes to go, then the Griffins’ Covella went right down to score after seizing the next draw, and markers by junior Erica Eaby (four goals, one assist) and McKay soon followed. The count was now 15-10, with under six minutes to go.
Chestnut Hill nudged the lead up to six points over the concluding minutes as junior goalie Jenn Delahanty polished off a 16-save performance. Fellow juniors Brianne Timony and Christina Squillante scored three and two goals, respectively, for the victors.